X5 Son #1: Mission Mom and Dad

[Febuary 2002]

Fandom: Dark Angel
Title: X5 Son #1: Mission Mom and Dad
PenName: Empress Vader
Character(s): Jondy, Max, Case, Logan, Charlie, Zack 
Summary: Case and a boy named Colin with a link to X5 travel to Seattle to find their parents. Jondy comes after the runaway boys and finds out what happened to Zack, which leads to conflict with Max.
Notes: Spoilers for Hit a Sista Back, Designate This, Some Assembly Required. Timeline is based on events up too and including The Berrisford Agenda.  Occurs more than a year and a half after Zack is shipped to the Ranch. Max still has the touch-Logan-and-kill-him-virus.
Disclaimer: This story is a fanwork based on characters featured on the TV series Dark Angel. A television series created by James Cameron and Charles H. Eglee.


Zack stood side by side with Jondy on top of a building. They both were watching Case and his father get on a train. There was a woman behind him with a boy of her own. She bumped into Charlie and they laughed and struck up a conversation, their sons weren’t really interested in each other.

“Can’t you get someone else to do this?” Jondy asked. “I want to help with Tinga.”

“I can’t believe you don’t want this assignment instead. Don’t you care what happens to him?”

“Of course,” Jondy replied.

The fact that Zack had chosen her as guardian to that precious little boy should have felt like a gift, but it didn’t. The reason he’d chosen her and not someone else was obvious to him and her. There were other reason for him also. Zack had called on her for the same reason he’d paired her with Max the night of the escape. When it came to being a soldier, he trusted her.

“No one else knows about him, what he is to us.” Zack looked toward where the train was loading. “I need you here,” Zack said with a more desperate sound in his voice than intended. “After what happened to Case– Promise me you’ll take care of him. He needs you now. I’ll handle Max and Tinga, if I need help I’ll call in the others. But I need you on this.” Zack sighed. “Can I count on you?”

“Of course,” Jondy replied. “I’m just — afraid.”

She had uttered a word that Zack would never admit to feeling.

“Afraid for him?” Zack asked.

“Him and us,” Jondy replied.

Jondy glanced over at Zack. The man tried to appear so strong, but he was full of weaknesses. His biggest weakness being his sisters. The world outside of Manticore had made him more aware of gender roles, not that he saw his sisters as some frail little things that couldn’t handle themselves. But suddenly, his fellow soldiers became women and not just because they had gone through puberty. He was vulnerable right now, though he would never show it. She threw her arms around him. She had this feeling that she wouldn’t be seeing him for awhile and he must have had that same feeling of doom or he wouldn’t have bothered to call on her.

“Take care of yourself,” she whispered next to his ear. “And I’ll take care of him.”

He hugged her back, but he was far away from her. His body was still here, but his mind was elsewhere. The assignment was given, he was secure in moving on. She broke the embrace, turned away, and he was gone. The speed with which he disappeared would amaze most people, but it was the norm for them.

She looked back at Case, innocent bright eyes. She saw her sister reflected back at her. Case had almost died, her sister lost – possibly forever. An innocent little boy almost killed because of who his mother was. She had to do this for Zack, no she had to do this for herself. It couldn’t happen again.


Case crept out of bed and slid into the kitchen. He threw the cakes into a book bag and closed the bag. He shouldn’t be doing this, but he had accepted the mission Colin had given him, for his own reasons. Colin was his only friend, everyone else saw him as this weird little smart kid. His father didn’t understand. Case hadn’t understood completely until Marci had opened up to them.

Colin jumped the fence into Case’s yard. Case met him with a book bag slung on his back. Colin had a bag too. Colin was two years older than Case. Their parents had met awhile back, but the boys had become friends in a Karate class. Their instructor, Marci, had taken a special interest in them, taught them special techniques. Because of this, escaping home without their parents knowing had been a simple task because of it.

“You ready Case?” Colin asked.

“Yeah,” Case replied. “I forged the letters like you told me to and I got this–”

Case pulled out a handful of money.

“Did you take that from your dad?”

“No, I actually earned it helping out dad’s boss a couple times.”

“Well I got some money too, so we should be straight there.”

Colin put out his hand. “No matter what happens, brothers for life right?”

“Brothers,” Case said gripping his friends hand.

As bright as Case was, it was clear the older Colin had always been the leader of the two. The plan had been his and Case had went along. He needed Colin’s acceptance and approval. They were both searching for parents, their other parent, the one the parents they had wouldn’t talk about. Colin knew the way to the bus station, he’d had this great escape planned for months. They bought their tickets, showing the cashier a note from their parents so he wouldn’t think they were runaways. They got the tickets and boarded the bus.

“This is it,” Colin said as they took their seat. “If you’re going home–”

“No,” Case said. “I have to do this.”

“All right little brother, let’s go,” Colin said.

They sat back in the seat and watched home disappear behind them.


A brownout had trapped Alec and Max in Logan’s apartment with Asha…and Logan. However, Logan was out at the moment borrowing some candles from a neighbor. That left two very uncomfortable women and a guy who was feeding off the tension in the room.

“Can’t you ever be serious?” Max asked after some underhanded comment about Logan.

“Of course,” Alec said.

“Then seriously tell us something that bothers you,” Asha said.

“Bothers me?” Alec asked. “How about two women who–”

“Be serious,” Max said interrupting whatever he was going to say. “And keep it about you.”

He studied the annoyed look on her face for a minute. Asha was watching him seeing if he would react. She decided to be serious for a moment.

“Okay, seriously. One of my regrets is that X6 kid that I jammed up,” Alec told them seriously. “Bet I know what Max’s regret is. Not getting closer to Logan before that virus got in the middle of them.”

“Actually, your wrong,” Max said. “It’s Case. I promised him his mother. I didn’t keep my promise and I can’t keep it. Zack has his second chance, despite what’s happen to him. And Logan and I have a chance at being able to shake hands again one day without the threat of death. Case can never get his mother back.”

“Have you seen him since she died?” Asha asked.

“I wrote a letter to Charlie, explaining everything when I got back from Manticore, but I haven’t spoken to either of them lately.”

“You know you can’t take the blame for that,” Asha told her.

“I made a promise, again, because it felt right at the moment. And now that kid is going to hate me.”

They heard the door open. Logan had returned.

“That Mrs. Moreno can talk your ear off,” he said. “No candles, but she let me borrow some tap lights.” He sat at the table with the other three. “So what are we doing?”

“Talking about our biggest regret ,”Alec replied. “Bet yours is Max.”

He didn’t answer.

“Sorry, but your not hers,” Alec teased him.

“She said it was Case,” Asha replied in reaction to the look on Logan’s face.

“Case?” Logan questioned.

“I stood right there,” she pointed to a spot in Logan’s apartment near his door. “I promised him his mother, I didn’t deliver.”

“But you couldn’t have known–”

“It doesn’t matter,” Max replied. “All he’ll remember is that Aunt Max promised him.”

“I didn’t know it bothered you so much,” Logan replied.

“She had everything, her prince, her castle, the happily ever after. Sure, I gave them jobs and everything in my head, but I never really understood that these people I was searching for had these real lives.”

“You can’t undo what’s been done Max,” Logan told her.

He could look at her and tell these words weren’t a comfort to her. He hadn’t realized Case’s disappearance still bothered her.

Max and Alec both left Logan’s the next morning. As they mounted their bikes, Alec turned to Max.

“I’m sorry about your sister and your nephew,” Alec said in one of his rare sincere moments.

“Thanks,” Max replied. “But Logan’s right, I can’t bring Tinga back no more than you can bring–” She stopped herself before saying Rachel.

“Hey your brother what’s-his-name, Jack.”


“Right, Zack, he showed up. Who knows?” he shrugged and pushed off on his bike.

“And look how great that turned out,” Max replied as she started off for work behind him.

She never saw the two children watching her.

“That’s her,” Case said pointing to the dark haired girl. “That’s Max.”

“Jake said she was beautiful,” Colin said. “I guess she’s okay.”

“Should we talk to her?” Case asked the older boy. “That Logan guy is upstairs. He knows stuff too.”

“No,” Colin told him. “We talk to Max. We will wait for our moment. She’s going to work now, right? Let her work and we’ll watch her just to be sure. Remember all the things Marci taught us.”

The boys, who had acquired bikes of their own through trade, followed Max and Alec. They followed them to Jam Pony and observed them for most of the day. Case looked to Colin for instructions on when to be close and when to keep a distance. They went through most of the day undetected.

At the end of the workday, the boys prepared to follow her home. But she didn’t go home, she sidetracked. Max got off her bike and went into an abandoned building. Perplexed, the boys followed her as far as the entrance.

“Maybe we should wait for her to come out,” Case said.

“She knows someone is following her,” Colin said. “But she doesn’t know who we are, she doesn’t understand. I guess it’s time we spoke to her.” Colin turned to Case. “Stay here and watch your back.”

Colin disappeared inside the building.

Case paced outside for awhile. He hadn’t been this far away from his father in years. And now Colin wasn’t even here, he was standing outside in an unfamiliar city, alone. Ever since his mother had left, they’d been extra cautious. Colin had left town on the same train as himself and his father, they became neighbors, but they didn’t become friends on their own.

Colin’s mother had signed him up for some Karate classes. The classes were taught by Marci. Some of the older boys picked on him, in school. Elizabeth and Charlie were friends, so she convinced a reluctant Charlie to sign his son up for the classes.

Marci had put the two boys together, telling Colin to watch out for Case. Case had been grateful. One day, Colin began talking about Jake. He said he thought Jake was his father, though Jake himself had never said so. Jake came around and watched him from a distance when he was playing a few times and he use to visit him and his mother late at night. He’d pretended to be asleep on one of these occasions and Jake had come in to tuck him in. He was only pretending to be asleep, so he pretended to wake up. He and asked him who he was and he said “Jake, a friend of your mothers.” From then on, he and Jake began to talk at every visit by his bedside. He never admitted to being his father, but he never denied it either. It was enough for Colin. He told Case about the barcode he’d spotted on Jake and suddenly Case’s face lit up and he began rambling about his mother and her tattoo.

The X5 sons began comparing notes. He asked Colin to draw a picture of Jake’s barcode. Case recognized it right away and told Colin he knew him. It was a complete and utter accident that they walked in on Marci stretching one day and saw she too had a barcode. They demanded an explanation. She tried to avoid the issue at first, made up some story about kids and a gang she belonged to when she was younger.

The truth, at least as much of it as she would tell, came after a day of nagging and saying they would go to their parents, . Case went into the fairy tales his mother told and Marci explained the reality behind them. She just talked about the past, things leading up to the escape. Everything after that remained vague. Colin and Case were so excited about their unexpected link, nothing else mattered. Suddenly so many things about themselves made sense. The boys got closer and closer with each passing day. They began to visit Marci after school learning a mix of techniques, some from Manticore, some from the time she had spent with Master Yen. She tested them in various things. She told them if they were old enough to know the truth about their past they had to know how to defend themselves. Colin discovered surprising physical abilities he’d never known he had.

Colin and Case continued to exchanged stories, planned operation find mom and dad for months, and then they’d come to Seattle. Come to find Penny and Jake a.k.a Tinga and Zack, or at least a clue as to where they had gone. As far as he knew, Max was the only one who had any clues. And they couldn’t demand anymore of Marci.

“What are you doing here?” a female voice asked.

He turned slowly toward the voice, his eyes widened.

“I can explain,” the small boy declared.

Colin stepped cautiously up the stairs listening for any sound. It was quiet, too quiet. Suddenly someone dropped down behind him and pinned his arms behind his back. He struggled to escape, but found it impossible.

“Let me go,” he screamed.

“Let him go,” another voice said. The person saying it was hidden from view, but then the small woman stepped into the light. The woman was holding a gun in her hand. Max let go of the boy. A little boy stepped from behind the woman.

“It’s me,” Case said.

“Case,” Max said shocked.

“Marci,” Colin said running to the woman with the gun.

“How do you know my nephew?” Max asked.

“She’s one of us Max,” Case said.

Max eyed him curiously when he used the term “us”. Then she studied the woman the older boy had called Marci. Max turned and showed the woman her barcode. A smile crept over Marci’s face.

“It’s you?” Marci said. “I thought you were dead. Krit said you were gone the last time I spoke to him.” She turned to reveal her barcode to Max.

“Jondy,” Max said excited.

The gun fell and Jondy ran into Max’s arms. The two women embraced each other.

“Jondy?” Colin question. “Jeez, does anybody tell me their real name.”

“I should have know she was Jondy,” Case said to himself. “I thought she was Syl.”

The boys shrugged.

“Who’s the older boy?” Max asked Jondy.

“Our brother’s son,” Jondy told her.

“Our brother?”

“X5 599,” Jondy said.

Max looked at the boy. Cut away the brown hair into a Manticore cut and you would have Zack. Still, she’d never imagined Zack as a father.

“Zack had a son?” she asked amazed.

“Yes, but I don’t think this is the proper place for explaining family history,” Jondy told her.

“I have a place we can go,” Max said.

Max and Jondy left the building with the two boys close behind.


Logan stood at the window with his friend Asha. He hadn’t admitted it, but he was a little shocked when he found out he wasn’t Max’s biggest regret. He felt foolish, selfish, and childish for having these feelings, but he told Asha anyway.

“I shouldn’t be jealous of them, I try not to be. But there will always be this other part of her that alienates me, even if she doesn’t want it to.”

“Family is Family Logan,” Asha replied. “No matter what kind of family it is.”

“Not mine. Believe, no one in my family would shoot themselves in the head for me.”

“You have a niece right?”

“Technically she’s my second cousin, but yeah.”

“What if you had looked at that sweet little girl after her mother or father had been kidnapped or something, and said you would get their mother or father back.”

“I understand that,” Logan said. “But I just have this illogical need to be as important as them. From the moment I met her, they were all she talked about. I hate to say it, but I felt sort of validated by the fact she chose me over Zack. And I knew he would always be someone special to her, but still I was jealous. I knew there was nothing going on, but I was anyway.”

“You don’t have to be perfect Logan,” Asha told him. “We all have illogical, selfish feelings sometimes. It’s okay to be a regular guy, don’t put yourself down for these feelings. It not like you beat the guy’s head in.”

“Considering he could probably break me in half, that wouldn’t have been very smart.”

Asha smiled. The door suddenly opened, ending there conversation. It was Max, another woman, and two boys.

“Look what I found?” Max said.

“Who’s this?” Logan asked.

“Asha, Logan, I’d like you two to meet Jondy, Case, who you already know, and Colin, Zack’s son.”

“Colin?” Logan questioned. “Zack has a child?”

Colin smiled proudly at being called Zack’s son again, even though he was in the habit of calling his father Jake.

“Jake never told me he was my father, but I guessed and Marci confirmed it.”

“Marci? Jake?” Logan questioned.

Max began to believe she was the only X5 not running around changing her name every week.

“Jondy is Marci, Zack is Jake,” Max explained.  She turned to her sister. “Now the question is why are you all here? It can’t be for a family reunion as much as I’d like that.”

“I just came to find the boys,” Jondy told them. “Elizabeth, Colin’s mother, called me all upset. She called Charlie too, thinking the boys were together either at my house or his. Then Charlie got upset, it was a mess. I don’t know why the boys ran away.”

 She looked at the boys for and explanation, Case looked to Colin.

“We needed to know what happen to Case’s mom and my dad. And we knew Max might be the only person with any answers.”

“Boys,” Jondy said. “You should have come to me.”

“Do you know where they are?” Colin asked.

“Months ago I heard from Krit,” Jondy said. “Zack was recaptured by Manticore. And–” Jondy paused. She turned to Max. “Wait I heard you were inside too, dead. ”

“I was dead,” Max replied reluctant to continue. “He saved me.”


Max nodded. “He gave me his heart, he killed himself.”

Jondy fell back on the couch in shock.

“He did what?!” Colin yelled.

“Wait there’s more–” Max began.

“My dad’s dead,” Colin said sadly.

“What about my mom?” Case asked. “Do they still have her?”

“No, she’s gone Case, forever, I’m sorry. I told your father–”

Case began to cry and Max tried to comfort him, but he pulled away and ran to Marci. Colin too began to cry, though he tried to keep on a tough face.

“Please listen, ” Max pleaded. “Zack’s not gone, he’s okay. They saved him, sort of, his body at least.”

“What are you saying Max?” Jondy asked.

“Manticore has some new technology,” She began. “I have to start at the beginning. Or, at least, at the point I found out about you Case.”

Max sat down and began to tell the longest tale she had ever told. She started with finding about Case and went all they way up through her escape from Manticore. Then she skipped a little and talked about finding Zack, his cybernetics, the failed rehabilitation, and the attack on Logan.

Case stayed curled in Jondy’s lap crying. Jondy sat there trying to absorb it all as Max finished and Colin kept up his tough boy look as tears rolled down his cheeks.

“I want to go to him,” Colin said when Max’s story was done. “I want to go to my father, now. You know where he is, take me to him!” the boy demanded.

“I can’t do that,” Max said. “Colin you have to understand he’s not what he use to be.”

“You have no right to hide who he is from him!” Colin yelled.

“Colin,” Jondy stated sharply. “Don’t yell at adults. You were taught better than that.”

“I’m sorry Marci,” Colin said.

“Colin, your are the big boy here right?”

“Yes,” Colin replied.

“Then this is what I want you to do. I want you to calm down, take your little cousin here, and go into the other room.”

Colin nodded at Jondy.

“Come on Case,” Colin said.

Logan directed the boys into his guest room.

“I’ll get the boys a snack,” Asha said going into the kitchen.

The two women were then alone.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know he had a son,” Max said.

Jondy got up and walked to the window, looking away from Max. “Do you think he can be rehabilitated?” she asked.

“You can’t be serious. He was brainwashed, he wants to kill Logan. He’s too jeal–” she paused.

“He’s what? Jealous of Logan, is that what you were going to say?”

“He fell in love with me Jondy. When he started getting memories back, he was all confused about what we were to each other.”

“Did you ever think that was your fault?!” Jondy yelled. “I’m sorry, but I know Zack and I know Colin, not Logan. Colin needs the man he calls Jake, he needs his father. He’s not going to be happy until they’re back together.”

“But Zack is finally happy, he has no burdens.”

“How would you know what makes Zack happy?!” Jondy yelled. Feelings she tried to bury were surfacing unintentionally. She wanted Zack as badly as Colin and she couldn’t tell Max the reason why.

“I need air,” Jondy said stepping out. “I’m going to use the pay phone. I have to call their parents. They’re in a hotel outside of town.”

Max hadn’t meant to take a parent from another child. Zack had a son, a little boy who missed him. Had she made a mistake?


Max stayed the night at Logan’s, hoping she and Jondy would get the chance to speak again. However, Jondy only come in to tell them Charlie and Elizabeth would come for their children tomorrow and she went in the room with the children. She only left once to get Case some juice.

Logan came in the room halfway through the night.

“How are things with you?”

“I thought it would get easier, the reality of their lives without me. And maybe I can deal with that, but I can’t deal with knowing that we aren’t what we use to be.”

“You know this isn’t unusual Max,” Logan said. “Sometimes people grow up, go to college, and  come back thinking friends and home will be the same, but it’s not. You lose contact, you move on, and nothing is the same. Sometimes you have to let go of those ideas of the way things were, because they will never be what they were again. Jondy’s a stranger.”

“No, she’s my sister,” Max said. “No matter how much time you spend away from your sister, she’s always your sister.”

“If it means that much to you, then you just find her again. And Max, sometimes that means more than finding them physically.”

Max smiled, knowing exactly what he meant. Her first meeting with Zack hadn’t gone as smoothly as she imagined, but the night after they lost Tinga it felt like they found each other again. He’d hugged her and it felt good to be with him again. She didn’t find Zack in a day, she wouldn’t find Jondy in a day. It still hurt however, that someone she was once so close to, was now so close, yet still far away.

The next morning, Charlie and Elizabeth showed up. They gave Jondy a thousand thank yous as they examined their sons. She told them no thanks was necessary, she cared about the boys very much.

Max had been waiting to see Colin’s mother. She wondered if Zack had ever been in love with someone who loved him. Had he ever loved this woman? She seemed so…well…ordinary. The only thing that stood out about her was her British accent. It was hard to believe Colin was hers. Something in Colin’s eyes revealed a child who was anything but ordinary. He was completely his father’s son.

“You are going to be punished when we get home,” Elizabeth said to Colin. “How dare you run away?”

“Home? I’m not going home, I’m going to my father,” the eight year old spat back.

“You’re my son,” Elizabeth said. “You’re going to do what I say.”

“My dad’s all alone and nobody cares. I want to see my father! Dad tookcare of us mom and now he needs you. Don’t pretend he abandoned us. He came to you, he gave you money, I saw it, I know, now he needs us I want to go to him,” Colin argued. “None of you have a right to deny me.”

“I told you Colin,” Max said. “He doesn’t remember you. He’s living another life.”

“I’m willing to help him remember me. Unlike you, I’m willing to give up a little for him, I’m willing to help him.”

“I tried to help him and he turned on me. He might try to hurt you.”

“That’s not what you said. He didn’t want to hurt you, he wanted to hurt that guy,” Colin pointed to Logan. “And I don’t care about that guy, I care about Jake.”

“Logan’s my friend Colin, I can’t let anybody hurt him.”

“You mean your boyfriend,” the boy spat back. “And obviously your boyfriend is more important than your brother. ”

“Colin,” Jondy stated in that sharp mothering tone. “Be quiet.”

“Why? She doesn’t even care that she took away everything he ever cared about.”

“I took away his pain Colin,” Max told him. “He had a very hard life, he has a lot terrible memories and any one of them could set him off and he could hurt people. And he’s happy and he doesn’t have–”

“Do you think,” Colin began. “If my father had the choice between keeping his memories and losing them for your so-called happy life, he’d pick your happy life?”

“Colin,” Jondy yelled at him. “Stop now.”

“But Marci,” Colin said turning to her. “You told me once, it’s our hard times that define us and shape who we are. The easy days are just a reward for dealing with the hard days, because life is hard. Whatever memories Jake has, bad and good, they are who he is. He wants the memories of you of me of Case of Case’s mother” he looked at Max. “The memories he doesn’t need at the ones of this bitch.”

“Colin!” both Elizabeth and Jondy yelled.

“What? She’s a bitch, that’s the only word to describe her.”

“Young man,” Logan said stepping up. “You will not disrespect her in my house.”

“Come here,” Elizabeth said taking him alone into the nearest room and shutting the door.

“Max, we need to talk alone,” Jondy said.

Max nodded in agreement and they went out in the hallway.

Alone, the tension between the two women was even thicker. The fact was, Jondy knew the boys better than she did, she’d been there for her nephews, they had no reason to believe a word out of Max’s mouth, especially since she had broken the first and last promise she’d made to her nephew.

“Max, I think Colin and I need to see Zack. I don’t agree with how he said it, he was taught better than that, but he’s right. Is the price of a lifetime of memories worth what he’s gained? Our brother, our Zack, a damn farm hand in the middle of nowhere on someone’s Ranch?”

“It’s a good life,” Max stated. “Better than most. Don’t you see he has a chance at a normal life.”

“Normal life? Max, get over it, we are not normal. Don’t you think it’s going to be a little weird if Zack discovers he has enhanced site, can jump a 50 foot fence, and has cybernetic parts. What if an accident happens and he finds out half his face looks like the damn terminator? How will you explain it? He can’t live a “normal” life and he certainly can’t go the rest of his life not knowing who he is.”

“I didn’t know what to do with him. I love him, but I couldn’t put him ahead of Logan, not this time.”

“Have you ever put him ahead of Logan?” Jondy asked.

“I’m dedicated to us, our freedom, as dedicated as anyone. But I wouldn’t live my life the Zack way anymore than I would the Manticore way.”

“I’m not saying I always agreed with Zack, Zack could be the biggest ass on the planet. But he was just broken, like the rest of us. You can’t throw him away because of that Max. You can’t just get rid of anyone who doesn’t fit into your little fairy tale with Logan.”

“That’s not fair. Tinga moved on, she had everything. She had a husband, a child, a life.”

“She never forgot us Max. She never forgot what it meant to be one of us.”

“I didn’t either, Zack kept me away for his own selfish reasons!” she yelled. “All I ever wanted was to be with you guys again, but he wouldn’t let me have it.”

“And you were mad at him.”

“I didn’t know I was taking him away from his child.”

“What about the rest of us, maybe you didn’t want him, but maybe we did.”

“I LOVED Zack, but I was just confused about how to show him love and not lead him on. I wanted Zack, I just didn’t want him the way he wanted me.”

“It’s not about WANT, I NEED him Max! He’s my son’s father.”

“Your what?”

“Colin’s my son, mine and Zack’s. We were young, we made a mistake.”

Now it made sense for Max, that other part of Colin that didn’t seem to belong to Elizabeth. It was Jondy.

“He doesn’t know, he thinks Elizabeth is his mother, he never quite figured it out. I guess it’s because I stayed away. Zack’s never failed him, he watched over him. Me, I ran, I couldn’t stand to see my little baby and not hold him.”

“Why did you give him up?”

“Elizabeth was Zack’s girlfriend or something like that, I don’t know what they were. She’d gotten pregnant about three months before me, but her baby was stillborn. She was older, she had a family with money, she had a chance at giving my son a future I couldn’t.”

“I can’t believe you and Zack had a child, he’s our brother.”

“We’re not the Brady Bunch Max, the rules don’t apply to us.”

“Did you love Zack, I mean as more than a brother?” Max asked feeling she was treading on shaky ground.

“We all love Zack, I never much thought about how. Besides, we didn’t exactly have a romance and I wasn’t the only X5 female he was ever involved with. I’m the only one who got pregnant as far as I know.”

“And you didn’t want the baby?” Max questioned.

“He was my son, of course I wanted him.”

“Then you should have kept him.”

“You ever heard of reality Max?”

“If you’re talking Zack’s reality, that ‘Family isn’t an Option’ deal, no, I try not to hear it.”

“Case is only one half Manticore kid and look what they tried to do to him. Colin has an X5 mother and an X5 father, both of whom were underage when he was born. I was on the street, living from day to day. I had a hard enough time feeding myself, let alone a child. And if they found out, what would they have done to him?”

“But Zack might be dangerous Jondy, to you and Colin.”

“I have to try. It’s my own fault the way things have turned out. I cut Colin out of my life because it was easier for me. He doesn’t need me, he wants a father, he has a mother.”

“Your his mother.”

“No, I’m not. No more than the women who carried us were our mothers.” Jondy sighed. “Zack told me he was coming here to help you and save Tinga, I wanted to come just so I wouldn’t have to face my child. But I promised him I’d take care of him, and I have. It scared both of us what happened to Case and when I saw Case. I knew Elizabeth wasn’t enough, Colin needed me to protect him. No one else even knows we have a son.”

“Zane, Krit, Syl, none of them know?”

“That’s the point of a secret. It’s on a need to know basis.”

“There’s a lot more to this story isn’t it?”

“It’s more story than I have time for right now.”

“I don’t know what to do to help you Jondy.”

“Give me Zack’s location. Let me talk to this Dr. Carr that worked on him. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance we can still make him whole again. Give Colin the chance that Case doesn’t have.”

“Fine,” Max replied in defeat. “I’ll talk to Logan. This is for Case. I failed him, I could at least do something for Colin that makes up for it.”

“Guilt is a bitch isn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Max replied. “And according to Colin so am I.”

Jondy didn’t smile, didn’t react, she just walked inside.

Logan agreed to Jondy’s terms after a long talk. He arranged a conference with Dr. Carr and Jondy had a long talk with some other professionals and threw herself into research. The boys stayed at Logan’s, but both the boys and Jondy spent there time away from Max. Despite being so near, they had never been further apart. So Max stayed out of the way and the only person she had to talk to about any of it was Original Cindy.

“My sister and brother had a child together,” Max stated. “Isn’t that twisted?” she asked her friend.

“To be what you are, you sure got small mind about some things,” Original Cindy told her. “I love you gurl, but you have to start thinking outside the box. Your family ain’t exactly cookie cutter. Biologically, Zack is no more Jondy’s brother than Alec is yours.”

“We didn’t grow up with Alec,” Max pointed out. “I mean we grew up with his twin, but it’s not the same thing. Jondy, Zack, and I washed together, ate together, helped each other through classes and training. We escaped together. For whatever we lack in blood–”

“But boo, don’t you see, blood’s the only thing that matters in reproduction. Their feelings about each other have a right to change. Zack will always be your brother, Jondy will always be your sister, in your heart and that’s great, but there’s no genetic barrier stopping them from going to the next level.”

“How about decent moral structure?”

“You sound like my bible thumpin’ daddy. Homegurl, you have to stop lookin’ for the cookie cutter version of American life. You, me, your life,  it ain’t cookie cutter, you can’t put it in that box called “normal”. Your life isn’t a neat little box and you’ll be a lot happier when you realize that.”


“No buts.” Original Cindy interjected. “If Jondy can heal your boy, Isn’t that a good thing?”

“I guess.”

“You should know. Or is it true boo? Is Jondy right, are you pushin’ away anyone, including your own family, if they don’t fit into that little picture you painted of your future with them, with Logan?”

Max started to say something.

“Don’t answer boo, think about it. Think about Zack, think about you, think about Logan, think about all the things that’s gone down with you three. And don’t just be Max, be Zack, be Logan, and try to see things from all sides. Even try to think like Jondy and Colin, put your shit aside for a moment and you’ll find your truth.”

Jondy entered the living room where Elizabeth and Charlie were sitting with their children between them. Somehow she’d become the leader of this little tribe. Her son, his adoptive mother, her nephew, his father. Despite her reluctance at entering her sons life, at some point both Colin and Case became her boys. She loved them equally, but whenever she looked at Colin, there was this ache, this need to take him into her arms and tell him “I’m your mother.” Then she had to remind herself he had a mother. She sat down in front of the parents of her boys.

“I’ve researched, had a talk with Dr. Carr and some other experts on amnesia and lost memory. The problem the first time may have been too much stimuli to fast. The key here is to take it easy and let him embrace his memories. So, I am going to the ranch where Zack is staying to see him. Elizabeth, I know Colin wants to come and we’ve agreed we both will accompany him. Charlie, as for you and Case, you are free to go back home. ”

“No,” Colin yelled. “I need him. He’s family, we can’t break apart what family we have.”

“I agree. I want to stay with Colin,” Case said quickly.

“But Case, this means we’re changing our whole life again,” Charlie told him. “School, your home.”

“That’s what you have to do when your one of us,” Case stated. “If you start a mission together, you finish it together. Right Colin?”

Colin smiled. Charlie knew the transgenic pride parade was Colin’s doing. He liked that the boys were so close, but the “us” and “them” themes were going overboard.

“I’m not like other kids,” Case continued. “And Colin was the first friend I really ever had, he’s my blood brother. Colin and Marci are home to me. You too dad, I love you, but I need them too.”

“It’s your call Charlie,” Jondy told him. “I love Case, I’d hate to lose him, but I can’t promise you an easy road from here.”

He looked at the two boys beside him. No matter how he felt about Zack, he didn’t want to separate his son from the best friend he’d ever had.

“Okay, we’re going along.”

“Yeah!” Case exclaimed jumping up.

“All right!” Colin said joining him. They both ran to Marci and hugged her and then hugged each of their parents.

“This doesn’t mean you runaway again to get what you want,” Charlie told his son.

“Never again,” Case replied.

The two excited boys left the room.

“I guess this family is catchy,” Charlie said. “But I would like Case to realize he has family on my side too.”

“I do too Charlie,” Jondy said. “But think about it, he has you, all he has left of his mother is us.”

“I understand, but–” Charlie stopped and sighed. “Elizabeth do you understand what I’m saying?”

Elizabeth’s eyes met Jondy’s.

“A little, yeah. But Zack and I didn’t exactly do things the proper way, so my family never quite accepted Colin as my son. Maybe that’s why he needs his father so much.”

The room got quiet, but the boys laughter could be heard in the other room.

Before Max knew it, it was all arranged. Even a ride was arranged. She watched from across the street as her family thanked Logan and prepared to get into a van Logan had provided. Max had barely said hello to another sibling and she was leaving her. Reluctantly, she stepped forward. She couldn’t let Jondy leave without a proper good-bye.

“Jondy,” Max called.

Jondy turned toward Max.

“Stay here,” she said to the boys and crossed the street to meet Max.

“So your leaving,” Max said.

“Yeah, not much reason to stay.”

That statement hurt in ways Max wouldn’t say.

“I’m sorry,” Max said. “About the way things have gone down. It’s weird, I mean we’re family, how could you and Zack have a kid?”

“Stop thinking so traditionally about family, Max. Mom, dad, kids, little house — we didn’t have that. Even if we had finished growing up together, feelings still could have changed. And I’m not even saying that’s the case here.”

“You sound just like my best friend,” Max said with a smile.

“Smart friend. I’ll have to meet her sometime.”

Jondy smiled. “Family doesn’t mean for us what it means to some other people,” Jondy began. “For us it’s about what we feel for each other. If I learned anything in giving up my son, it’s that sometimes sacrifice is a part of love. Sometimes you give up the thing that you want most, for the person that needs you the most. Am I making any sense?”

“Yeah, in a way.”

“I need you to know, the fact that I lost you use to keep me up nights. I’m glad to know you’re okay and you’ve found some happiness. I know this hasn’t been the happiest reunion, but you’re my sister, for life. I love you Max, I always will.”

“I love you too Jondy and Zack and everybody. Even Colin, though he hates me.”

Jondy smiled. “He’ll come around.”

They hugged.

“I hope this works out for you and him Jondy,” Max stated. “Good luck with you son and his father.”

“I’m not planning on marrying the guy and taking Colin back,” Jondy said as the hug broke.

“Bye,” they said together.

As Max watched her go, she remembered something else someone told her about family. They said no matter how much how mad you get at family, no matter what problems you have with each other, in the end you still love each other. Today, she believed it.

Colin watched the women’s good-byes with resentment in his eyes.

“I hate Aunt Max,” he whispered to Case. “She got to Marci, but she won’t get to me.”

“I hate her too,” Case said in agreement.

It was obvious that he was just agreeing with the older boy. Despite the broken promise, he didn’t really hate Max. Hate was to strong a word. Disappointed maybe, very hurt, but he didn’t hate her.

Jondy rejoined the group and loaded them into the van. With everyone settled, Jondy climbed in to travel with her charges. It would be the last time, in awhile, that she and Max would see each other.

The End of X5 Son #1

Story to be continued in X5 Son #2: Scattered Pictures

(Story Art added – 3/7/2002)

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Welcome to RhondaWeasley.com. Dawn is a writer, theatre artist, and film maker. She loves to create and be a part of the creative. This is my webspace playground, for blogging, displaying my work, and general all-around fan fun.
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